Kuala Terengganu MP Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad has urged the government not to make empty promises and focus on solving problems faced by local fishermen, including thoroughly stopping Vietnamese fishermen from encroaching in Malaysian waters.
In a statement today, the Amanah lawmaker brought up Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek’s recent announcement that the government proposes to increase the revenue of fishermen to RM5,000 a month by 2020.
He also expressed doubt over figures used by Shabery in relation to fishermen’s present monthly incomes, which had been said to be between RM1,500 to RM2,000.
He compared Shabery’s figures to a study done by researchers from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), who had met fishermen in Kampung Seberang Takir claiming that their income was just RM400 a month. The village is located next to Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman’s constituency near the state capital.
“Do Shabery and Razif know the reality of the UMT research findings?” he asked, adding that the government should stop promising projects for fishermen as the general election approaches, and instead face the reality of hardships faced by local fishermen and their families.
“The RM5,000 monthly income is also an unrealistic target (what) with three years left, and our fishermen are among the poorest in Malaysia,” he said.
Raja Bahrin said what fishermen needed were an increase in the fish population in local waters, which was presently being hampered by encroaching Vietnamese fishermen and a lack of border enforcement.
He said this situation had continued under one minister to another, from Noh Omar to Ismail Sabri Yaakob and now Shabery, who also hails from Terengganu...